Tag Archives: Mike Pompeo

Outrageous reaction to electoral loss

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The English language has few words that adequately express the feelings that boil up inside me as I watch Donald Trump and his minions challenge the results of a free and fair presidential election.

Now we hear from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who denies that President-elect Joe Biden defeated Trump. Pompeo says he is planning to work in a “second Trump administration.”

Earth to Mike: There will be no “second Trump administration.” Trump lost the election. The court system will not back up the specious complaints that Trump is leveling that that the election was “stolen” from him. Donald Trump will have to face the reality that President-elect Biden defeated him handily — both in the ballots cast and in the Electoral College.

It is outrageous in the extreme that Republicans continue to stand behind a president who has lost an election.

As for Trump, he is inflicting untold damage to the very fabric of the democratic system of elections. He is challenging the integrity of a system he took an oath four years to defend and protect … for God’s sake!

We are witnessing an outrage of epic proportions, not just from the outgoing president, but from those who are endorsing his foolishness.

What about the ‘water’s edge,’ Mr. Secretary?

The late great Republican U.S. Sen. Arthur Vandenberg coined the maxim that “politics stops at the water’s edge.”

That was his way of saying that in the pursuit of foreign policy, we shouldn’t quibble over partisan matters, that we’re all Americans regardless of political affiliation.

I want to extend that notion a bit farther. Secretaries of state shouldn’t engage in partisan politicking while they are representing U.S. interests abroad, either.

Listen up, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, I’m talking about you!

Pompeo is going to speak to the Republican National Convention tonight while he is in Jerusalem, ostensibly talking to Israeli leaders about this and that … such as crafting a comprehensive Middle East peace.

What the hell is he doing talking to the RNC about a partisan political matter, such as re-electing Donald J. Trump?

I know there’s nothing illegal about what Pompeo will do. Legality, though, doesn’t make it right. Thus, the secretary of state speaking to a partisan convention about a political matter just doesn’t pass the proverbial smell test.

This, I submit, is just one more time-honored tradition that Donald Trump has managed to destroy.

Pompeo ‘didn’t know’ IG was examining him? Seriously?

There are claims that this was for retaliation, for some investigation that the inspector general’s office here was engaged in. Patently false. I have no sense of what investigations were taking place inside the inspector general’s office.

The above statement came from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said he recommended that Donald John “The Idiot in Chief” Trump fire inspector general Steve Linick. He said he should have had Linick fired a long time ago.

Why? Because, according to Pompeo, Linick was doing a lousy job and that he — Pompeo — had lost “confidence” in him.

So now the nation’s top diplomat wants us to believe that he had no idea that Linick was looking into alleged abuses of his office relating to duties being performed for members of the Pompeo family, or that the secretary of state was engaging in a reportedly shady arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

This is the secretary of state! The man’s got his fingers on all sorts of national security buttons. He wants us to believe he didn’t know what the IG — who was assigned specifically to work within the State Department — was doing?

Good grief! Pompeo must think we’re all a bunch of rubes out here. Or he is as much of a pathological liar as the man to whom he answers, Donald Trump.

I tend to believe it’s the latter.

Trump is ‘filling the swamp’

Donald John “Stable Genius in Chief” Trump has just fired the fourth inspector general since he was cleared of charges brought during his impeachment by the House of Representatives.

The victim this time is Steve Linick, the IG in charge of keeping tabs on the State Department’s conduct.

Trump vowed to “drain the swamp” of corruption in Washington, D.C. His latest ad hominem attack on government accountability suggests to me that he instead is filling the swamp with even more corruption.

Donald Trump is out of fu**ing control. He is unhinged.

When reporters asked Trump why he canned Linick, he deferred to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who he said asked the president to let the IG go. Then said, “Yeah, I don’t know him at all. I never even heard of him.” 

What the … hell? 

Trump fired a guy he said he didn’t know. For what reason? He said Pompeo had “lost confidence” in Linick. Then he said he has the authority to fire anyone he wants. Sure he does. I get that. But … why? Isn’t there some accountability due? Of course there is!

Linick, I should add, was appointed inspector general at State by the Obama administration. So this firing looks like yet another vestige of Trump’s immediate predecessor he wants excised by his administration.

I also should add that Linick reportedly was examining reports that Pompeo was allegedly using his office for personal use, that he reportedly was having government employees running errands for Mrs. Pompeo and taking the couple’s pooch out for walks in the park.

Republican U.S. senators are seeking an explanation from Trump on why he is gutting so many department inspectors general operations. I haven’t heard — at least not yet — any expressions of outrage from the GOP side of the senatorial aisle. There certainly should be demands that Trump come clean.

Donald Trump is exhibiting dangerous symptoms of megalomania.

Trump’s media demonization continues

Donald John Trump just loves to demonize the media, even though they merely are doing their job.

There was the current president today, standing next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Trump dropped the name of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, prompting cheers and applause from the Trump-friendly White House crowd gathered at the White House.

Trump then decided to launch a brief riff on Pompeo’s recent dust-up with National Public Radio reporter Mary Louise Kelly. “I think you did a good job on her, actually,” Trump told Pompeo, who was in the room.

What he did was decline to answer a direct question from Kelly about how he has defended former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. He then summoned Kelly to a private room and lashed her with f-bombs. He didn’t like the questions she asked.

That’s the “good job” to which Trump referred.

Trump’s ignorance over the media’s role in reporting on government and the officials who run it simply is stunning in its scope.

In defense of NPR

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo needs yet another lesson in just how the media do their job.

They ask tough questions. They seek direct answers. They also seek to report those answers to the public they serve. You and I depend on the media for answers to our own questions about what our government — especially at its highest levels — are doing ostensibly on our behalf.

National Public Radio reporter Mary Louise Kelly asked Pompeo why he hasn’t defended former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch against criticism leveled at her by the current president of the United States, Donald John Trump.

He dodged the question, saying he has defended “everyone” in the State Department. Kelly sought a specific example of how he has defended Yovanovitch. He cut her off, summoned her to his private quarters, then lashed at her with a profanity-laced tirade, saying that NPR is part of the “unhinged” media that demonstrate a hatred for Trump.

Kelly was doing her job. She has not done a thing for which she should apologize.

Time for full disclosure: I work as a freelance blogger for a public radio station, KETR-FM, based at Texas A&M University-Commerce. 

With that out of the way, I want to tell you that NPR goes the extra mile in ensuring that it reports the news fairly and without overt bias.

A friend of mine who works in public radio explained to me once about NPR’s policy that it enforces strictly. He said that during the coverage of the health-care changes that resulted in the Affordable Care Act, NPR reporters were counseled by their editors to refrain from using the term “reform” to describe the ACA. “It isn’t a ‘reform,'” my friend told me. NPR affiliates were told us call it “overhaul.”

You see, the term “reform” implies an improvement over the status quo. Thus, to describe the ACA as a “reform” would be to endorse it as a policy in NPR’s news coverage. That’s how my friend characterizes the ethos that drives NPR’s reporting of important issues of the day.

And so, it is against that backdrop that I find Mike Pompeo’s tirade against a seasoned, well-educated, dedicated reporter such as Mary Louise Kelly to be just another ignorant tirade coming from a senior official in the Donald Trump administration.

Reprehensible.

This is no way for a ‘diplomat’ to conduct himself

Imagine a secretary of state working for, say, Presidents Obama, George W. Bush, Clinton, or George H.W. Bush doing the things that Mike Pompeo reportedly did to a National Public Radio reporter.

Mary Louise Kelly sought to get Pompeo to explain why he didn’t defend former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch after Donald Trump ordered her fired. He said he has “defended everyone” in the State Department. Kelly persisted, asking him to explain when he has said anything in defense of Yovanovitch. Pompeo stuck to his previous answer.

Then, according to Kelly, he summoned her into his office and launched into an f-bomb-laced tirade against her, told her to find Ukraine on a plain map, with no countries identified … which she did.

Then he issued a statement blasting NPR and the so-called “fake news” media.

Imagine that kind of thing coming from, oh, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright or, for that matter, Rex Tillerson … Trump’s initial secretary of state.

Pompeo serves as the nation’s top diplomat, a post that by definition operates on a formula of dignity and decorum.

This man is behaving instead just like the crass individual who at this moment is masquerading as the nation’s current president.

Now it’s the ‘Obama-Biden administration’

Did anyone other than me notice something a bit different coming from the Donald Trump administration’s criticism of policies put forward by the Obama administration?

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the Sunday morning news/talk show circuit to explain Trump’s decision to kill Iranian terrorist leader Qassem Solemaini with an air strike in Baghdad, Iraq.

He kept referring — get ready for it! — the mistakes made by the “Obama-Biden administration.” Do you get it? Pompeo is now trying to link former Vice President Joe Biden to former President Barack Obama. Why is that? Well, it appears to me that the Trump team believes the former VP is going to be the Democratic Party presidential nominee later this year.

It’s a subtle tactic to demonize a political foe. Do I think the demonization is valid? No. I do not. I do not believe Iran’s standing as a terrorist state is the result of mistakes made during the Obama administration.

That won’t preclude Donald Trump’s key administration and campaign aides from employing this little game of rhetorical mumbo-jumbo. It has begun already.

Will he resign or stay … and get pummeled?

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly wants to serve in the U.S. Senate. How does he do that if he is serving in the Donald Trump administration? Obviously, he cannot.

He also is being dragged feet first into the impeachment inquiry sausage grinder that has cranked up in the House of Representatives.

Pompeo hails from Kansas. He once served in the House from that state. Sen. Pat Roberts is retiring at the end of 2020. Pompeo wants to succeed him.

Does he stay on at State or does he enter the campaign from Kansas? He ought to run for the Senate. I don’t believe he needs to be elected from that state, given that I believe he has disserved his fellow diplomats at State. How? By not standing behind one of his more stellar ambassadors, Marie Yovanovitch, who has been smeared by Donald Trump, who fired her from her post as ambassador to Ukraine.

The impeachment inquiry is getting messy for Pompeo. He now has been revealed to have been in on that phone call Trump made to Ukraine’s president in which he asked for a favor in return for weapons sent to Ukraine to use against rebels backed by Russia.

Yahoo.com reported that Pompeo wants out, that he wants to run for the Senate. The State Department denies it … naturally!

Since the denial comes from the Trump administration, I cannot accept it at face value.

I tend to believe the reports that Donald Trump is going to look for the third secretary of state who is willing to endure the misery the president seems all too willing to inflict on those he selects to serve.

Secretary of state: derelict in his duty

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo brought a lot of heft to his post as the nation’s top diplomat: top of his class at West Point; active-duty Army service; member of Congress; CIA director.

It’s the West Point chapter in his life that gives me concern, though, but not because I intend to disparage his academic record at the nation’s Military Academy.

Pompeo has violated a fundamental tenet of service in the military. One of the individuals under his command as secretary of state, former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, has seen her record smeared by the president of the United States.

Did the secretary of state stand up for her? Did he have her back? Has he vouched for her honor and affirmed that she isn’t “bad news,” as Trump has described her? Has he affirmed his support for her gallant service to the country over he past three decades? No. He has allowed the president to run roughshod over her.

Yovanovitch testified this past week before the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, which is overseeing the impeachment inquiry process launched against the president. While she was in the middle of her testimony, Trump decided to fire off a Twitter message that denigrated her service and — in the minds of many observers — contained a threat to her and others who might be so inclined to cooperate with House congressional questioners.

Why in the world has the nation’s top diplomat, the secretary of state, allowed this defamation to continue against one of the individuals under his command? Secretary of State Pompeo has been a profile in cowardice.

The president says he is entitled to express himself. Actually, what Donald Trump doesn’t grasp is the gravity of any statement he makes as the nation’s chief executive, as its head of state. Mike Pompeo surely should understand what has gone over the president’s head and he surely should have stood foursquare behind a highly honored and decorated diplomat, such as Marie Yovanovitch.

He didn’t. Pompeo choked. He disgraced himself as well as the long-standing tradition he brought to his high office.